Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gluten Free Vanilla Strawberry Granola

Breakfast is a tough meal in our house.  I am definitely in an egg rut with the kids.  Up until recently they ate breakfast at daycare and I only had to figure out breakfast on the weekends.  Since we pulled Aidric out of daycare I’ve been feeding both kids breakfast in the morning before I send Kota off to school.  I’m glad to be doing this since it is one more meal I can ensure meets MY nutritional standards.
So I have been on a quest for non-egg recipes.  There are definitely mixed opinions on the healthiness of eggs.  I still haven’t decided.  What I do know is if I only feed my kids eggs every day for breakfast, that is all they are going to want to eat.  So we need options without eggs- nutritious options.  Some things I don’t want in my breakfast: gluten, processed sugar or processed anything really.
I love this granola for so many reasons.  First, the majority of the ingredients are raw.  Eating raw means that none of the nutrients, vitamins, or enzymes are being cooked out of your food.  In other words, you’re getting the maximum benefits you can from the food you are eating.  As a parent of chronically sick kids, this is a big deal since they need all of the nutrients they can get. Second, this recipe is versatile.  It can be eaten alone as a snack, with some nut or rice milk as a cereal, or with some dairy free yogurt and berries in a parfait.  I also love that this is a simple recipe and you can customize it and mix up the flavors so that you don’t get bored.  I’ve made a couple of batches now and I plan to keep this in our breakfast rotation.

This recipe is adapted from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut.  She’s got another great flavor on her blog- Chai!  I've changed things up a bit, using honey to sweeten and adding some more nuts and chia.  You will need a dehydrator for this recipe.  If you don’t have one you could bake it on your oven’s lowest setting however ovens don’t go low enough for the granola to be considered raw.

Vanilla Strawberry Granola

2 cups raw walnuts
2 cups sliced raw almonds
3 tbsp chia seed meal
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup shredded raw unsweetened coconut
½ cup almond flour
1 large apple, crushed in blender
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
16oz fresh strawberries, finely chopped

Soak your almonds and walnuts in filtered water for around 8 hours.  Rinse the nuts and strain.
In a small bowl, mix your chia seed meal*, cinnamon and salt. 
*To make chia meal, you can grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder or magic bullet (I use this).
Mix water and honey.
In a large bowl combine soaked nuts with the rest of ingredients and mix.  Add your small bowl of dry ingredients and mix again.

You will want 2-3 of the Paraflexx sheets to spread the mixture on.  I only had one so I cut some parchment paper to fit the dehydrator pan and it worked just fine.

Spread the mixture out on your dehydrator sheets until it is relatively even.  You want the mixture to dry at the same rate.  Also, make sure it is pretty thin (this is what the third sheet is for).  If your granola is too thick it will not dry quickly and your strawberries will start to go bad.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 8 hours.  It might take longer depending on the thickness of the granola.  Keep checking it to see if it’s crispy.  Try not to eat too much every time you check on it.  I promise it is even better when it’s done!  


  1. This looks delicious! Just curious: why don't you want your kids to eat eggs every day? I love eggs and eat them in some form every day, but I'd love to hear your take.

    1. Hey Joanna! I love eggs and use them in plenty of things besides just scrambling for breakfast (all of my baked goods). There are two main reasons I try not to make them all the time. One is that they are a pretty allergenic food in general. My kids don't specifically have an egg allergy however since they have many allergies and are sensitive to quite a few foods, I don't want them to develop an allergy from eating them too often (which can happen). The second reason is their high protein content. My son has an immune deficiency and is sick often (and has a sensitive digestive system). I limit his protein intake during these times since high protein foods are hard on the digestive system and I want to minimize stressors in times of crisis. Despite these things I still feel like we go through tons of eggs :)